CBI Court Found Proof of Crime 'Beyond Reasonable Doubt' Against Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
The Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was immediately taken into custody after he was pronounced guilty by the special judge, can be sent behind bars for his entire life under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code if the trial judge takes a serious view of his position when he sexually assaulted the Sadhvis.
(Image: Network18 Creatives)
New Delhi: Conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh signifies that the special court has found the proof of crime against him "beyond reasonable doubt". The evidence, including the testimonies of the minor victim and others, have successfully established Singh's offence and he now faces a minimum of 10 years in jail.
The Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahi Singh, who was immediately taken into custody after he was pronounced guilty by the special judge, can also be sent behind bars for his entire life under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012 and Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code if the trial judge takes a serious view of his position when he sexually assaulted the minor victim.
The criminal law adopts a stringent view if a man commits rape on a woman by virtue of his position of control and custody.
While the detailed order on Singh's conviction is yet to be released, he is likely to have been held guilty under Sections 5 and 6 of the POCSO for "aggravated penetrative sexual assault".
An offence is treated as "aggravated" under the POCSO when committed by a person in a position of trust or authority of custody. Punishments for a conviction under these charges will entail a minimum 10 years in jail which can extend up to life term, along with fine.
Besides, Section 376 also includes various clauses whereby police officers or those in management of hospitals and other such institutions are punished more severely. For such convicts, a minimum of 10 years in jail has been prescribed by the IPC too.
On August 28, the trial court will hear the arguments on the quantum of sentence against Singh.
According to the sources, CBI is expected to seek life imprisonment for the Dera chief.
Singh's counsel, on the other hand, is likely to press for a suspension of his sentence to enable them file an appeal before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The quantum of punishment may be deferred for a later day too if the trial judge requires more time to deliver the order on sentence.
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